Previous page Next page First page IORR home
The Rolling Stones Fan Club of Europe
It's Only Rock'n Roll

First Union Center
Philadelphia, PA, USA
Monday March 15, 1999

Review by Zucatron

On a cold and windy night the stones finally land in phila. the stones and phila. like to two old friends crossing pathes in the night when the stones play here. you don't have too surf the radio for updates they are played all day and night phila is a rock and roll town with 35year ties to the stones. when the rolling stones plan a tour phila. is circled in red this is the gig the band points too. they have started tours here and played there most memorable shows here so tonight would be no exception

I have seen the show twice in dc. last week and was very impressed with the energy displayed by the band and jagger playing a set that included moonlight mile and bitch the band was in top form the show took off with a killer midnight rambler with great sound comming from the b stage the crowd was whip to a frenzy route 66 and when the whip comes down also where awesome. the band got its second wind after that and tore the house down with the familer finish of tumbling dice a crowd favorite along with start me up.

All in all another great show from the masters theres is no way the ball will stop, rolling now not with the band playing soo well. i dare anyone too tell me who is better the tickets are a lot of money but so is everything else. do yourself a favor and see them before its too late. for me another show tommorow. and its off to hartford.

Start time :  9:25
End time   : 11:25

The set list:

  1. Jumping Jack Flash
  2. Bitch
  3. You Got Me Rocking
  4. Respectable
  5. Honky Tonk Women
  6. Moonlight Mile
  7. Saint of Me
  8. Some Girls
  9. Paint It Black
    -- Introductions --
  10. Before They Make Me Run (Keith)
  11. Thief In The Night (Keith)
  12. Out Of Control
  13. Route 66 (B-stage)
  14. When The Whip Comes Down (B-stage)
  15. Midnight Rambler (B-stage)
  16. Tumbling Dice
  17. It's Only Rock'n Roll
  18. Start Me Up
  19. Brown Sugar
  20. Sympathy for the Devil (encore)

Pre-show comments by Stone Glimmerman

The Rolling Stones are playing Philadelphia! Could "Freedom" ring any louder?

When these guys take the stage at the F.U.C. (her), on March 15th and 16th, a musical genre itself will be on intimate display. Any chance to actually watch the Stones make music is, by now, tantamount to Michaelangelo asking if you'd like to come over while he paints the ceiling.

Even casual observers are aware that Philly and the Stones have "a relationship". Amazingly, on their first trip here in 1965, they played New York and Philadelphiathe same day. This was the infamously wacky tour set- up wherein The Stones would alternate as headliners each night with Herman's Hermits.

The Catholic High School experience took quite a hit in 1966, when my friends and I took the bus to Atlantic City's Steel Pier to see The Stones and The McCoys and Standells. Who would have guessed The Stones would be standing long after The Pier?

Time passed and patience was tested. Finally the announcement by The Electric Factory that The Rolling Stones would play the new Spectrum in March 1969. This was not to be however, as Brian's truly "criminal alien" status kept him out of most countries in the world. Brian had seen his last cheesesteak.

A new day...the announcement of the November '69 shows was made at The Electric Factory during the intermission of The Who playing that ACTUAL garage. Well, one out of two ain't bad, as the November 25th matinee was subsequently cancelled due to the impossibility of moving the sole stage from Detroit the night before. I should have saved my 2nd row seat, but $6.50 was $6.50.

By the time the band returned in 1972, Gimme Shelter had cemented The Stones place as Lucifer's Bar Band, with the immediate result being nationwide ticket pandamonium. All I know is, I waited three days at The Spectrum...and got nothin'!

Now I don't remember much about 1974, but I sure remember parts of the evening that Ladies and Gentlemen premiered. That celebration was soon given a jolt when Mick Taylor left "to make unreleased albums". Now what?

Never deterred, the band drafted Ronnie and returned to the now- familiar Home of The Stanley Cup to give 2 of the best shows of the 1975 Tour...believe me.

Less than a year later, Keith and Mick slipped back into South Philadelphia to re-record Love You Live in a small studio near the Penrose Ave. Bridge. While that may sound is very true.

Then the Canadian bust; and before you knew it, Keith Richard, no stranger to irony, found himself kicking heroin in a Philadelphia suburb called The Main Line.

Shortly thereafter, a memorable day at J.F.K. in 1978 saw Mick perform in a persistent, misting drizzle with a 102 degree temperature. Despite that, Philly was one of the few cities to get the "extra song" that tour ("Satisfaction" in mid-set), but because they didn't do the formula move of leaving the stage and returning...the audience destroyed the stage. Obviously New Yorkers.

Then the 80's. By choosing Philadelphia for the initial '81 press conference as well as the first two shows, with local hero George Thorogood opening and the rare performance of "Mona"...well, The Stones sure seemed at home in Rittenhouse Square. And I was very pleased to see Mick wear a Philadelphia Eagles jersey the whole tour.

But then Ian Stewart died in his doctor's office; and there was no "Rolling Stones"... temporarily as it turned out. But England's Newest Hitmakers wouldn't return to the States for 8 years, longer than most bands last. And when they finally came was through Philadelphia.

The Steel Wheels Tour served as a roaring comeback only temporarily derailed when The Vet lost all power in the middle of "Shattered". I know they "ain't superstitious", but the song was not performed the rest of the tour. These were my first shows as an ex-Philadelphian and it couldn't have been more surreal if Chuck Leavell was leading the band instead of Keith...The new stage approach was shocking indeed but the sounds were fine.

Like most cities, Philly, uh, "weathered" the Voodoo Lounge and Bridges Tours, as mid-week, single stadium show scheduling kept me from my hometown for two tours. There's no Liberty Bell near Giant's Stadium but I had to go there.

And now the No Security Tour. I'm sweatin just thinkin'about it. This is a crowd that knows their Rolling Stones. Philadelphia has reeked rock and roll since Dick Clark or earlier. In a Rolling Stone interview in the 80's, a Bill Haley quote pinpointed the birth of rock and roll to "a series of dances in the Philadelphia area in March of 1951" I am proud to say those are my precise birth coordinates and yes, it gives me the creeps! But whether rock started here or ends here, we all know that when The Stones play Philadelphia, history happens all over again. The British are coming...and this time it's personal.

Review by Tom Alexander

Suffice it to say the show was awesome!!!! The boys were all really on tonight and they all seemed to be having a real good time. Moonlight Mile was beautiful, Some Girls incredible and punky (loved this version) and Midnight Rambler was the best I've ever heard!

Lisa and Mick had a lot of fun during Honky Tonk Woman and Woody's daughter sang backup vocals for Keith's numbers. Got to shake Charlie's and Chuck's hands along with Keith who slapped my hand as they headed out to the second stage!!! Unbelievable!!! and definitely made my night!!! Woody broke a string during Start Me Up and they brought out a new guitar for him and had a good laugh over it. They ended with a terrific version of Sympathy for the Devil. All in all it was an outstanding concert and a truly wonderful, memorable night. If anyone has a chance to see them during this tour, do yourself a real big favor and go - you will definitely not be sorry!!

Now for a few zzzzz's and its off to tonight's show... I'll tell ya, it just doesn't get any better than this!!!

Review by Kris Lesh, PA

It's 3am. and i just got home from what can only be described as the best concert I've ever been to.

The Corrs(who I've never heard of) did a good job as the opening band, i think with St. Patrick's Day this week, their Irish music seemed appropriate.

But, on to the main event....the show started around 9:25pm., with Jumping Jack Flash.....And might I add that Mick took off and never stopped giving us everything he had for the next 2 hours. I have no idea what songs were played in what order because there's something about Mick that just makes me lose the ability to think or remember.

Before I knew it, they were heading out to the small stage, which was closer to the far end than to the middle. This suited me just fine because my seat was in section 107, directly across from both stages. As the crowd rushed down the steps to the small stage, i was tempted to try to get close to the stones, but it was really crowded down there. At the last second, my friend who was with me said"go, you know you want to!" I ran down the steps, and the next thing I knew, i was standing on some guy's chair, and Mick was RIGHT THERE IN FRONT OF ME. I was literally 10 feet away from a rock and roll legend. They kicked ass on the small stage, i took lots of pictures....some lady threw a bra to Mick, he caught it in mid-air and threw it right back. Lots of shirts and things were thrown onto the small stage, but they didn't seem to pay much attention. Mick actually looked at me for a split second, that was great. Keith shook hands with a few people, so did Ronnie. When they were done with the small stage, Mick threw his cup of water out over where I was standing, and some lucky person got the souvenier of a lifetime when they caught the cup.

I went back to my seat and it seemed like only a few minutes later and it was over. They came back for the encore and then it was over.Much too soon it was over. The concert lasted 2 hours and i observed some things that may be of interest:

Of all the concerts I've been to, I've never seen Mick sweat as much as he did tonight. Either he was working REALLY hard, or it was hotter, being indoors. Ronnie seems to be way too serious. He goofed a little on the small stage, but that was about it. Keith was great, but i don't particularly like the things in his hair. I wonder if he knows they are there? Mick's pinky fingernails are painted black. Lisa and Bernard put on a great show with each other, and I always love it when Mick and Lisa get close to each other, you can feel the sexual tension.

Mick added the line "do you think you're the only pussy in Philadelphia" in IORR.....Ronnie's daughter was on stage, Keith's were in the front row. During Sympathy for The Devil, a guy jumped up on the walkway to the small stage and started dancing, then he dove back into the crowd. The final thing i observed about this concert was the rudeness of the older fans. My seat was an aisle seat, and for some reason, older people decided that they should walk to my section, stand in the aisle directly in front of my seat, and block my view. I asked at least 6 people to get out of my way. I'm 5"4', and these were grown men standing in the aisle, blocking my $150 view. The ushers cleared the aisle once, but that lasted about 5 minutes. I've never had that problem at a Stones concert before.....I went to see the Stones, not the back of some old guy's head.I know this sort of thing happens, but the thing that got me was that these were older men, not teenagers.

It was a great show. the very best ever, and Mick, you gave it all you had and this fan appreciated the effort and hard work The Stones put into a show. $150 well-spent.

Review by Gary Loudenslager

Tonight was my 44th Stones show dating back to the 1981 tour. My first show was in Old JFK Stadium (Site of the American Half of Live Aid in 1985), and now I've come full circle, seeing the Stones in the New First Union Center (Nicknamed the "F.U." Center by the locals). The FU Center, by the way, is built on the site of the Old JFK Stadium.

Since I sprang for the $250.00 (face value $150) seats, my friend Mark ordered a Limo and we went in style. The seats, by the way, were worth every cent. They were on the side of the main stage in the 7th row. However, the first four rows were cut off by the stage, so we were 3 rows, at eye level, from the stage. I could see every wrinkle on Mick's face as he danced and pranced in my direction numerous times. I've never been closer at a show and that includes being right up front, dead center at Wembley Stadium in 1995. You had to look up and they were still a good 15 feet away. So this was the best ever for me.

I was unimpressed by "Jumping Jack Flash", I though it was flat and slow. However, I think maybe the Stones wanted it that way. They came out all in Black and White - Mick with a leather jacket, white shirt and dark glasses. Each song seemed to build on the next until the audience reached a frenzy. This is a highly professional outfit, as we all know. They know what they're doing!

It was great to see "Respectable" live. It's my second time with that tune (last January in Madison Square Garden). I have now seen every song on the "Some Girls" album performed live except "Lies".

Speaking of "Some Girls" (the song), I have heard that Mick is performing it more and more viciously each night. It really kicked last night. Guitars excellent, lyrics enunciated and no Jesse Jackson protests! I wonder, though, what NOW thinks.

"Saint of Me" floundered. Mick tried to get them going by going out on the ramp into the crowd but nobody was buying it. This ain't Europe.

"Paint it Black", first time since Steel Wheels was excellent. Charlie is the master of those drums!

On the band introductions, I was impressed to see that Lisa Fisher had lost some weight. She also wasn't dressed like a hooker. She was in a classy dress and sounded as great as ever as did Bernard. He really picks up Mick on a lot of the vocals.

Next, Keith did his thing with "Before They Make Me Run" (excellent) and "Thief in the Night". I would really have liked to have seen him do the last song on Bridges to Babylon - "How Can I stop". That is a highly underrated tune.

When Mick returned with "Out of Control", the show took off to a new level. I thought the B-Stage set was awesome. "Route 66" could not have been better. The guitars on "When the Whip Comes Down" were the best and "Midnight Rambler" lived up to all the other great reviews I have been reading.

The last five songs which I call the "Greatest Hits Set" are always good, but tonight was special. Being so close and knowing that the Stones still had saved up energy from not having to run around some gargantuan stadium stage, made the end electrifying.

As I watched the boys take their bows, I was already looking forward to going back tonight. Tonight will be somewhat melancholy because I will not be going to any of the other shows and one always thinks that yes, this could be the last time. Stones week will continue this week though. I intend to go to the Omniverse Theatre to see the Stones IMAX Movie at least three more times. A junky can never get enough.

A lot more reviews have been received, but due to time and space limits, it will take some more time before these may be posted. Please be patient. Thanks!

The press reports:

Thanks to Olaf Reuthebuch, Ted Saxlid and each and every one of you for supplying links to online newspapers, and reviews, of course!

Read all about the "No Security" and "Bridges To Babylon" tours of 1999 in the It's Only Rock'n Roll magazines. New issue IORR 35 out Jan 20, 1999, and the complete No Security guide in IORR 36 is out April 23, 1999.

Previous page Next page First page IORR home It's Only Rock'n Roll 1999 -
© The Rolling Stones Fan Club Of Europe